Chil­dren com­bine cre­ativ­ity and science to con­duct cool ex­per­i­ments at li­brary

Sun Sentinel Palm Beach Edition - Society Scene - Palm Beach - - Front Page -

Thir­teen young­sters re­cently got to en­joy some hands-on science learn­ing.

The chil­dren ages 8 to 12 learned how to con­duct two ex­per­i­ments as part of the Summer Science Club at the Ha­gen Ranch Road Branch Li­brary west of Del­ray Beach. They were led by Stephanie Ru­d­is­ill, youth ser­vices li­brar­ian, and Caitlin Con­nelly, li­brary as­so­ciate.

Clad in white bib aprons, the women had preset a place set­ting with a tray and ma­te­ri­als needed to con­duct the two ex­per­i­ments, in­clud­ing a pair of safety gog­gles every­one had to wear.

In­cluded for the first ex­per­i­ment were bak­ing soda, vine­gar, food col­or­ing, a plas­tic bot­tle, a small fun­nel and a pan to catch the mess.

“Us­ing your fun­nel, pour the bak­ing soda into the bot­tom of the bot­tle,” Con­nelly told the chil­dren. “Add six drops of food col­or­ing to the bak­ing soda in the bot­tle. Then quickly pour in the vine­gar.”

The mix­ture quickly bub­bled over the bot­tle and into the pan. The kids squealed with de­light as the en­er­gized red, green or blue liq­uid over­flowed.

Af­ter a brief clean-up ses­sion came the sec­ond ex­per­i­ment, dubbed “ele­phant tooth­paste.”

Ru­d­is­ill led the stu­dents this time.

“In the small con­tainer pro­vided, mix to­gether the yeast and warm wa­ter and then set it aside,” she said. “Pour the hy­dro­gen per­ox­ide into your empty wa­ter bot­tle, us­ing the fun­nel. Add the food col­or­ing and liq­uid dish soap to the hy­dro­gen per­ox­ide in the bot­tle. Us­ing your fun­nel, pour the wa­ter and yeast mix­ture into the bot­tle.”

A thick out­pour­ing of col­ored foam forced its way out of each young­ster’s bot­tle.

As the thick foam oozed out of each bot­tle, the kids were laugh­ing and point­ing to each other’s ex­per­i­ment.

“That’s why it’s called ele­phant tooth­paste,” Ru­d­is­ill said.

Ru­d­is­ill said the summer pro­gram pro­vides a fun learn­ing ex­pe­ri­ence.

“Both Caitlin and I love do­ing these ex­per­i­ments,” she said. “The kids are learn­ing and hav­ing a lot of fun. … This year’s summer pro­gram, Fizz, Boom, Read, gave us the per­fect op­por­tu­nity to bring to­gether read­ing and science.”

Ana­lia Jimenez, of Del­ray Beach, brought her two chil­dren, Gabriel Fusaro, 10, and Andrea Fusaro, 8.

“The chil­dren en­thu­si­as­ti­cally par­tic­i­pated in these two ex­per­i­ments,” she said. “The chil­dren learned vo­cab­u­lary re­lated to chem­i­cal re­ac­tions and pre­dicted the ex­per­i­ments’ out­comes.”

Gabriel and Andrea Fusaro en­joy con­duct­ing an ex­per­i­ment as part of the Summer Science Club at the Ha­gen Ranch Road Branch Li­brary.

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